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The Immune System at a Glance
How Does the Immune System Work?
The immune system is one of the most complex parts of our bodies, and we’re still not completely certain on all the details. However, we do have a basic, although incomplete, understanding of how the immune system works.
The immune system involves many different parts, including cells, proteins, tissues, and organs that work together to fight off germs, viruses, bacteria, and other microorganisms that can be harmful to our health.
The immune system usually works by trigging our “immune response,” which is the process by which the system attacks invaders. The immune response tells white blood cells, also called leukocytes, to seek out and destroy the disease-causing contaminant. White blood cells are produced and stored in multiple locations of the body, such as the thymus, spleen, and inside our bones.
The white blood cells circulate through our body, much like a police officer on patrol, looking for diseases and eliminating them when needed.
There are two types of white blood cells. The first are known as phagocytes. These are the strike force that destroys invading organisms. The second are known as lymphocytes. These help the body remember and recognize previous invaders, helping the body identify and destroy them quicker the next time they make an appearance.
When learning about the immune system, you’ll often come across the term “antigen.” Essentially, antigens are a catch-all term referring to any foreign substance in the body that triggers a response from the immune system. Antigens can include things formed inside the body but are commonly chemicals, bacteria, viruses, pollen, and other substances from the outside. Anything that the body does not recognize and attacks is considered an antigen.
Autoimmune disease is similar to allergies, but it is often more severe and long-lasting. With autoimmune disease, the body makes a mistake and attacks healthy, normal cells. This can lead to fatigue, muscle aches, and a low fever, as well as other health complications.
Allergies: The Immune System in Overdrive
The immune system is protective of our bodies and sometimes overreacts to outside stimulus, triggering what we know as allergies. Allergies are essentially just the immune system overreacting to things like pollen, pet dander, and dust.
Allergens are substances that trigger the overblown response from the immune system. For example, people who suffer from hay fever are being effected not by the pollen itself, but by their body’s overprotective response to it.
Air Purifiers and Immune Systems
Air purifiers can be very effective for removing bacteria and viruses from a home. For people who have compromised immune systems, having air purifiers in the room can make a strong impact on their overall health. Asthma and bronchitis are two diseases that can be at least controlled and mitigated by air purifiers.
Allergy Consumer Review recommends the Agcen T02 as one of the top air purifiers for reducing the amount of bacteria and viruses in the air. This purifier uses a filter that is to remove many of the harmful contaminants that cause illness.